Wonder Woman never was really in the closet where bondage is concerned, as this image from the 1940s incarnation of Wonder Woman amply demonstrates ... but there are many, many more.

A companion piece for this article: a lengthy visual history of Wonder Woman and her quest for bondage goodness.

I bet you thought this article was going to be about what a big bondage fiend Wonder Woman was in her early years. Well, OK, you got me, but unlike just about every other article about Wonder Woman, I'm not just going to announce that Wonder Woman was a big time lesbian bondage freak early in her career. That cat is TOTALLY out of the bag -- about the only Wonder Woman site that doesn't cover THAT bit of gossip is the official Wonder Woman site at DC comics. (Like a lot of corporate sites, they're very adept at ignoring 800-pound gorillas when it suits them to.)

No, what we're going to do here is look at how Wonder Woman's bondage proclivities might have helped her succeed in her early years, at the total Wonder Woman mythos as its changed over the years, and speculate about if Wonder Woman might yet return to her bondage roots, and if so, how that might be manifested. We'll also take a look at the reasons why bondage themes tend to pop up so frequently in comics.

In the Beginning - The Amazing Marstons

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist whose work led to the development of the lie detector, and his wife Elizabeth, a professor at New York University and an editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica. (It's no coincidence that the Wonder Woman's chief prop is a golden lasso that forces whoever is caught in its coils to speak the truth.)

It's also no coincidence that whoever is in the coils of the Golden Lasso must do whatever he or she is told to do. Marston was a bondage freak, probably a switch but if not a switch a subbie, who lived by all reports happily with two families -- his wife and his secretary and their children he had by both women.

Wonder Woman's Golden Lasso proved a handy tool in dealing with villains, but she wound up in its coils more often than not., and all the bad guys seemed to know its properties. They must have had a newsletter or something..

Marston's secretary, Olive Byrne was never seen in public without two heavy metal "bracelets" on her wrists, and without a metal collar around her neck (or 'necklace' to put things in plausibly deniable form). She was pretty obviously the sub in the relationship, either Marston's or his wife's or probably both. Maybe a switch, too. It's obvious that something dominant/submissive was going on in the Marston household, but there's no information I can find that authoritatively says what was going on.

William believed his wife Elizabeth was the model of the capable and successful woman of the future. Based on little more than that, I think she was probably a domme, maybe a switch. (I'm just guessing here, the Marstons were closed-mouthed about their private lives and I know nothing about them other than what's public.)

Both women had kids by Marston, and they all lived together, very happily by all accounts. All three adults loved one another, and they all loved their kids.

Early Superheroines

Here's Phantom Lady, a competitor of Wonder Woman's. Interestingly enough, it was Phantom Lady whom Wertham cited in his book "Seduction of the Innocent" as a probable source for bondage feelings among confused young men while Wonder Woman got a pass on that count. While Phantom Lady got tied up on occasion, as shown here for instance, her schtick consisted mostly of having a really smokin' bod which was well displayed by her clothing as she fought criminals. Yah, Wertham and his supporters were idiots all right..

Now, there were several other female superheroines floating around in the comics pool in the 1940s, such as Domino Lady (she wore a Domino mask), Phantom Lady (very sexy, with the ability to become very invisible at times) and Shanna the Jungle Girl (actually, there were several jungle girls, it was a very popular gig for your female action hero on the make.) But most of them didn't have the richly imagined mythos that Marston provided for Wonder Woman. In fact, none of them were even close.

Wonder Woman's Rich, Nourishing Mythos

Wonder Woman was from a tribe of Amazons who had been enslaved when Hercules tricked (ancientspeak for "seduced") their Queen Hippolyta into taking off the girdle of Artemis which in addition to being form-fitting made her invincible in battle.

After a few decades of slavery, the Amazons got pretty sick of being naked and in chains and sucking this and fucking that (OK, the nakedness, fucking and sucking didn't show up in the comic book, but I feel it's a pretty fair extrapolation of what might happen to a tribe of enslaved hotties in ancient days.)

Anyway, Queen Hippolyta entreated Artemis to rescue her and the Amazons from their durance vile one night while she was chained naked on all fours and doing two-on-ones with Hercules' army. (OK, I'll stop. Not.)

Artemis took pity on Hippolyta and rescued the Amazons provided they headed off to Paradise Island where there were no men around to trick their brains out, and that they always wear metal cuffs (er, bracelets) to remind them of their enslavement by Hercules. Also, if they were bound by men, they would be rendered magically weak and helpless. This they found entirely agreeable compared to be tied over hitching posts and reamed thoroughly on a nightly basis by dozens of men. (OK, really, I'll stop ... when Hades freezes over!)

Sometimes Amazons like Wonder Woman had to have their bracelets welded together by men to be rendered helpless. Sometimes they only had to be bound in any way by men to be rendered helpless. And ultimately only Wonder Woman's golden lasso could be used to render her helpless. It's probably fair to say that a lot of the guys who wrote Wonder Woman did not do their homework. They all wanted to reinvent the character, i.e., ignore the history of the strip and just make up stuff as they went along..

On Paradise Island, the Amazons trained as warriors, on the not unreasonable assumption that men might come along at some point and try to re-enslave them.

The Amazons also played a lot of tie-up games and practiced bondage on one another. I am not making this up, it's canon, straight from the comic itself. See the illustration at the beginning of this article. You have to figure that on SOME level they kinda liked being tied up and molested a lot.

Diana Prince, daughter of Hippolyta, came along when her mother built her from clay which magically became human when she prayed to Artemis to have a child, obviating the necessity of being tricked by some nasty old man. Sounds a bit unlikely to modern ears, but you have to remember that back in the 1940s, the kids who were reading this comic were probably still being told that babies came from storks, well, at least some kids. So it wasn't all that much of a stretch to them, and being pre- adolescents in many cases, not an important point.

Everything goes hunky-dory for quite a few centuries (the Amazons are for all practical purposes immortal) until ace pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on Paradise Island during WWII and gives the Amazons an earful of what the Nazis and the Japanese Imperial Army have been up to out in the real world.

The Amazons agree that things are seriously fucked up in the world of men, and send their bravest, most powerful warrior out to show people how to live in peace and also that women can kick some major butt where necessary.

That warrior turns out to be Diana Prince. Queen Hippolyta is not too keen on sending her only begotten daughter out into the world of men, because look what happened to God's son when he got sent out into the world of men, and his dad was an actual god. But whatcha gonna do, her daughter wanted to get into Steve Trevor's pants real bad ... er, wanted to help bring peace to the world of men ... so Diana Prince headed out into the world of men and became Wonder Woman.

Mom tricked her daughter out with a few goodies before sending her out -- she had the Golden Lasso of course and her tiara which is an unbreakable boomerang and her bracelets stopped bullets and I think maybe her girdle did something cool too, but I'm not sure what. All her bra did was keep her breasts in place during ilfe and death battles, but considering how well endowed Wonder Woman was in later years, it was more than enough to ask of any garment.

Sometimes, all you can ask of even a super garment is to keep what's supposed to be in, in.

As an Amazon warrior in the world of men, Wonder Woman was an outspoken feminist, firmly convinced that women were the equal of men and contribute to society as much or more than men. It doesn't sound like much right now, but remember, Wonder Woman was created at a time when most media women were hapless dummies whose only response to a space monster was to stand around and scream, and who ran around in the woods in high heels and tripped constantly, screaming for help. Wonder Woman was waaaaaay different from the standard 50s heroine.

She was also not like all modern feminists. Wonder Woman thought that women's abllity to love others and care for them made them strong and good. There was nothing submissive about her vision of love for others, it was not a matter of serving others, so it fit right in with her feminism, but because love has so often been equated with surrender to males by mainstream culture, feminists in the 70s rarely couched their feminism in such terms.

So with the bondage, Amazon warrior status, Greek god mythology and feminism, you can see that Wonder Woman had a powerful and original mythos mythos going even before she left Paradise Island. But it didn't stop there. Wonder Woman took a unique approach to crime-fighting.

Transformation Island aka Reform Island

Most notably, whereas most male crime fighters were pretty much unconcerned with criminals once they'd been killed or sent to jail, Wonder Woman's interest in them remained. She saw them as a very special class of people: people she could legally keep in bondage.

That's why Wonder Woman often arranged to have female prisoners sent over to Transformation Island (aka Reform Island), where they were kept in chains at all times and subject to the loving domination of women dressed like drum majorettes, whom they quickly grew to love, making much better people of them. They also learned to love their chains.

Here's a typica day of kinky play on Transformation Island, as the Amazons just can't figure out
what those weird things from the world of men are for.

They played a lot of "strength games" while in their chains, some of which looked kinda wholesome, some of which looked like the sort of things lesbians who were into bondage might get up to.

(I am totally not making this up. It's fricking canon, right there in the original comics. )

This isn't even getting into the Halliday girls (the notorious moron Dr. Wertham accused them of having a lesbianical sort of relationship with Wonder Woman in his book "Seduction of the Innocent") and her invisible jet plane (possibly the dorkiest prop ever used by any major superhero of any sex, race, age, or planet of origin).

Other female superheroes of the time had backgrounds, but none of them had a mythos nearly as rich as Wonder Woman's.

The Destruction of Wonder Woman's Mythos

Marston died in 1947, and under the terms of the agreement he'd worked out with DC, control over Wonder Woman comics was given to DC, provided they published at least four issues of Wonder Woman comics every years. If DC failed to do that, control of Wonder Woman comics reverted to Marston's estate.

And that's probably the only reason that Wonder Woman is anything more than a curious blip in the history of comics publishing, because Wonder Woman's sales, while not as weak as her female superhero competitors, were frequently very weak indeed, compared to male DC superheroes, and DC would probably have dropped Wonder Woman quietly during the late 50s, or the 60s if they could have done so without losing the rights to publish the comic.

When DC got editorial control of Wonder Woman after Marston's death, they dropped the bondage themes and the outspoken feminism like twin flaming potatoes of doom, and then more slowly set about destroying everything about her mythos that made her interesting or different. (Not deliberately, that I know of, just acts of random idiocy that relentlessly wore the character down to nothing.)

Meet the new Wonder Woman ... with no super powers, and the ability to do karate almost as well as Emma Peel. Brilliant concept!

This process culminated in 1967 when, with the adroit timing and cultural sensitivity that's typical of mainstream comic publishers, DC took away ALL of Diana's powers, making her merely an undercover spy/mod boutique owner who was good at karate -- just as the feminist movement was really getting traction in American culture.

Wonder Woman's Revival

Wonder Woman strides the world on the cover of Ms. Magazine..

In 1972 Gloria Steinem launched the premier issue of Ms. Magazine with the old Wonder Woman on the cover, with a long essay explaining why Wonder Woman was such an inspiration to some feminists and why they were so disappointed at her being de-powered.

Well, you have to give DC credit -- they can recognize something if their noses are rubbed in it vigorously enough, and so in 1973 Wonder Woman got all her old powers back, in fact, she was shortly thereafter powered up to actual godhood, becoming full-fledged members of the Greek pantheon of gods on Mount Olympus. DC was busily sucking up to the feminists and a comic book publisher engaged in a full-blown suckup is an almost frighteningly intense spectacle.

Of course, Wonder Woman never was conceived as a goddess and goddesses are typically kind of overpowered for most superhero activities unless they have other goddesses or gods to duke it out with, so Wonder Woman's storylines became notably weak, even for Wonder Woman.

DC went with the obvious solution and Wonder Woman's goddesshood was soon revoked. Since then Wonder Woman has remained an extremely powerful superhero, taking her place as one of the Big Three in the Justice Society of America along with Superman and Batman.

Wonder Woman's personality has gone through some changes, too. When the ignorant blowhard Wertham accused her of being lesbianically relationed with the Halliday girls, DC countered by having her get all sappy for Steve Trevor, Merman and Birdman.

Let this be a lesson to all you gals out there: play hard to get for too long, and who knows who you might wind up marrying.

Of course, this being the 50s, no trouser snakes made their way into Wonder Woman's star-spangled panties. But she did give out blowjobs to any villain who'd bother to tie her up. (OK, I'm lying again. But I'm writing about a 50s comic book, for Og's sake, work with me here.)

The peace-loving, reform-minded Wonder Woman of Marston's day has become a bit more proactive in modern times -- when a mind-controlling supervillain Max Lord took control of Superman's mind and caused him to wreak havoc, Wonder Woman got him in the clutches of her Golden Lasso, and when Lord confessed that the only way to prevent him from taking over Superman's mind again was to kill him, Wonder Woman did just that.

The Really Important Thing About Wonder Woman

The really important thing vis a vis Wonder Woman from DC's point of view is ancillary sales. Her adoption by the feminists as an icon of empowerment has meant that huge numbers of doting feminists, or at least feminist-wannabes or more typically "I'm not really feminist but I believe in equal rights for women" mothers have bought their children Wonder Woman thises and thatses in hopes of empowering them through consumerism.

It's all about the Underoos, baby....it's always been all about the Underoos!

There's also been a very successful Wonder Woman TV series starring the incredibly wholesome yet bodacious Lynda Carter, and a not-so-successful Wonder Woman TV movie starring the stick-figured Cathy Lee Crosby, and a Wonder Woman cartoon series, plus the possibility of other Wonder Woman movies and TV shows (Josh Wheedon until recently was known to be considering a Wonder Woman movie). These considerations far outstrip any commercial possibility the magazine by itself might promise, given that it's a small part of a shrinking niche publishing market (i.e., comics).

It's also all about the very profitable media properties, such as the TV series starring Lynda Carter, who, while she did not look like a GREEK goddess, made a mighty fine wholesome middle American goddess, which works for me and a lot of other people, too.

Publishing Wonder Woman comics is mainly a device to maintain all the ancillary sales and the possibility of new media properties based on Wonder Woman. The publishers don't really care what happens to her story-wise as long as she doesn't advocate more incestuous cannibalism among America's youth, or anything else that would make her about as popular as the Bush administration.

Frankly, I think Wonder Woman could probably get away with returning to the 1940s and advocating reforming criminals by keeping them in chains and subject to loving sexual bondage and domination by women dressed as drum majorettes. I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything like that to happen, but so long as any Wonder Woman efforts along those lines are confined to the magazine and its tiny niche market, I don't think anyone would particularly notice.

The Future of Wonder Woman

In fact, what's most likely to happen is that Wonder Woman will continue to produce dull, inoffensive stories for the foreseeable future while losing market share to other female superheroes which aren't burdened by having a feminist constituency of any size or importance, and who can therefore dress and act a lot sexier than Wonder Woman ever could, thus appealing to the young, straight male fanboys who buy 90 percent of all comics published, including Wonder Woman comics.

What the young fanboys want to see is hotties in skimpies, and Wonder Woman is already lagging WAY behind such characters as Bomb Queen, Emma Frost, Witchblade, Dawn, etc., etc., etc. damn near ad infinitum.

Here's an image from the manga version of "Witchblade." She is not nearly as burdened by the expectations of non-fan interest groups, or ... clothing ... as Wonder Woman. And when you consider that 90 percent of the comics market -- including purchasers of Wonder Woman comics -- is young, straight and male, that means something...

Barring the unexpected, which happens with distressing frequency whenever I predict the future, I don't expect Wonder Woman to change much, hence I don't expect Wonder Woman to be interesting. It's not about telling a compelling story any more. It's about protecting the franchise.

Wonder Woman's Likely Successor

Fortunately for us all, there are creators out there who ARE all about telling a compelling or at least fun, story, and they're not worried about protecting their franchise because they don't really have one yet. They just want to make a name for themselves, and that requires taking risks. That makes them interesting.

These are the people who will create Wonder Woman's eventual replacement.

Empowered

Looming largest on the horizon as Wonder Woman's successor is Adam Warren's "Empowered," the story of a would-be superheroine who keeps getting captured and tied up by the bad guys. She's not really into bondage that we know of at present, but it happens repeatedly because her powers derive from a special monomolecular suit that's only one molecule thick. The suit gives her super speed and the strength of ten burly men. It can also render her invisible at times. It can make bullets bound harmlessly off her. But the suit is also susceptible to rips and tears, which reduces its effectiveness, and bullets give it rips and tears. So in any prolonged battle, Empowered is apt to wind up practically naked and no more powerful than any other healthy twentysomething. Shortly after that, she tends to wind up captured, practically naked and bound and gagged.

Here's "Empowered" captured by the bad guys ... again ... and an attempt to bluff her way to freedom has not only failed but has hurt their feelings.

This embarrasses her tremendously, along with the fact that her monomolecular suit reveals every last detail of the body beneath it, and since it loses effectiveness if not in contact with her skin, she can't wear anything under it ... not so much as a stitch of clothing. (In one story male fans voted her costume the most do-me-licious of any female superhero's costume, sending Empowered into alternating fits of embarrassment and anger.)

Warren's take on "Empowered" is definitely humorous, and unlike much sexy humor, is actually funny, which is probably why the series has been praised by many mainstream reviewers. The stories tend to be skewed parodies of mainstream comics, often rooted in humiliation for the lead character, as in the time she was rejected for full-time status as a member of her superhero team, and therefore had to take a second part-time job to make ends meet. One of the jobs she wound up in was posing as a lookalike of herself along with several other superhero-lookalikes for events like opening shopping malls, etc.

"Empowered's" roots definitely lie in bondage imagery. Warren confesses that he got the idea for the series when he was between comics gigs, and was making money doing custom artwork at conventions. Warren noticed that an awful lot of his requests were for images of female superheroes in bondage. He started doodling with a female superhero of his own who got bound a lot, and after many doodles, some began taking on storylines of their own, and "Empowered" was born. It wasn't a deliberate or intentional thing, she just sort of sprang out of Warren's notepad, as did a whole host of other characters for the comic.

Other Bondage-Licious Comics Characters

There are a number of other comics that feature characters that regularly get into bondage: most notably Saudelli's The Blonde," and the Bondage Fairies, but these publications do not have any mainstream crossover appeal, or at least, any crossover appeal they might have has largely gone unrecoginzied by the mainstream.

There have been other putatively mainstream comics that have used bondage for their appeal regularly, most notably "Victims" from Eternity Comics, about a duo of scantily clad hotties who were always finding themsleves in damsel in distress scenarios, although the basic appeal of the comics was horror.

"Victims" comics clearly understood the appeal of scantily clad DiDs, but it was short lived and wasn't really ABOUT DiDhood anyway.

That said, no mainstream artist other than Adam Warren has made bondage or damsel in distressed-ness a regular part of their characters' schtick, not even Wonder Woman, really, since Marston's era.

That's a shame, because directly exploring issues relating to bondage and dominance behavior could have offer a wealth of material, as well as some interesting insights into our culture.

To get some idea what I'm talking about, which would be a good idea because the article is going to be over soon, let's pretend that for some reason DC gave the writing chores on Wonder Woman to a really great writer -- me -- and gave me carte blanche to write it any way I wanted to because I'm so incredibly nifty. Stranger things have happened ... no, really, they have. I mean, Barbara Streisand's fucking HAIRDRESSER became head of a Hollywood studio. A freaking HAIRDRESSER! I got nothing against hairdressers, but a direct move from hairdresser to movie studio executive reeks of major weirdness.

Here's my script for a Wonder Woman/Batman story centered on Transformation Island. Illustrated? You bet!

Some Useful Armchair Psychology

Now, here's the thing. Superhero stories and bondage stories share a common, er, bond. They are both about power. Some people think of superheroes as role models for the adolescents and young adults who read them, but that's bullshit. Superheroes are straight-up wish fulfillment fantasies. Adolescent males are particularly vulnerable to such fantasies -- they are not adults, so they have very little power in their lives, and so it's a gas to imagine they're huge, powerful superbeings who can fly anywhere they want, anytime they want, with other superpowers that allow them to easily gain the admiration of others by performing heroic rescues that others cannot, and battle super bad guys and gals that most folks can't handle at all.

Now, if comic book characters were role models designed to edumacate and inspire wayward youth, they would be different. The costumes, both male and female, would be much more sedate and would hide any disturbingly rounded or protruding body parts. (About the only body part that members of either sex get concealed in comics is the genitals and women's nipples (their breasts are often generously displayed).

Probably not a role model-- the Pro is a prostitute turned superheroine.

Furthermore if comic book characters were role models for young males, you'd think there would be a LOT less fighting and a lot more negotiating. Stuff like, "Well, gee, Galactus, we can't let you eat the whole Earth, how about you just chew on Antarctica? It's cold and crunchy and nobody lives there!" Galactus: "Gee, that would be swell, a continent rather than a whole planet would be a lot better for my waistline anyway!"

So, yeah, comic books are wish fulfillment for young guys who don't have a lot of power over their lives, but who are just chock full of testosterone and all those other good hormones telling them they ought to be going out and doing super things like having sex with women and beating up other guys and so forth. Plus their parents and their society are telling them that, but without granting them any power or respect.

Now, why do you suppose they would find images of a superheroine in bondage appealing? Because she's a powerful being who can do all sorts of great things but whose power is kept in check by forces outside her control, i.e., ropes and chains. Puts her right on the same level with the reader, you see. Psychologically speaking, a superheroine in bondage is The Girl Next Door for your average young, straight male comic book reader.

And that's why Empowered is such a success for Warren. Most comic readers can totally identify with Empowered -- her feelings of humiliation and anger at her frequent powerlessness, her feelings that people don't take her as seriously as they should, her desire to achieve great things, her frustration at not being able to immediately be recognized as the great person she knows she is ... all characteristics of the Damsel in Distress. And even though the guys who read Empowered are not identifying WITH Empowered, but are lusting FOR her, the accessibility of her feelings makes her very, very appealing.

Of course, most people can identify with feeling of humiliation, anger and powerlessness, they're common human experiences. But teen guys, with their raging hormones coupled with their powerlessness, can REALLY feel the burn.

Plus, of course, the bondage itself amplifies Empowered's helplessness and vulnerability, triggering guys' protective instincts AND their predatory instincts. They feel that they understand her. They want to rescue her. They want to have sex with her.

Oh, Warren has his audience in his crosshairs, alrighty.

Armchair Psychology Made Weird

Of course, this is just armchair psychology from a guy who doesn't have a degree in psychology (I've got a degree, but it's one of those Bachelor of Arts degrees that have the street cred of toilet paper). But it sure does explain a lot of things, doesn't it? And the thing is, it's USEFUL armchair psychologizing, from a storytelling perspective.

If you try to understand the psychology of bondage in a story, and of damsel-in-distress themes, you just might write better stories than others. You might have characters that have more depth and resonance in a story. You might create a character that people will identify with.

Which is exactly what William Moulton Marston did back in 1941. His criminals weren't implacable advocates of Evil who occasionally switched over to the Good (as the story arc demanded) with no more effort than the flipping of a light switch. They were women who were deluded, angry, fearful, egotistical, aggressive, power-mad: running the full gamut of human emotions.

At Transformation Island these women were kept in chains and punished when they did wrong, and rewarded with love when they did right, with the magical girdles of Venus making them loving and submissive (no built-in vibrators but pretty much the same effect over time). The women learned to love their chains, but you kinda suspect it was because they associated them with all the love they got from their dominatrixes when they weren't being flogged by them.

In this panel from Empowered, Warren uses feelings of humiliation and rejection to comic effect, along with some very nice irony as Empowered lies her ass off to her mom.

These human criminals being reformed were a lot more interesting than the standard supervilllains. Their love of chains was probably a little incomprehensible by 40s standards -- remember, Betty Page's heyday was still a decade or two ahead -- but in the world of comcis where guys ran around in skintight spandex suits and women were continually getting tied up and tortured, it probably wasn't NOTICEABLY out of place.

You may think I'm exagerrating about the women continually getting tied up and tortured. Think again. Back in the 1940s, imagery that was much wilder than anything appearing in Wonder Woman was showing up on all kinds of comic books. Just check out these images. Wonder Woman's bondage imagery was mild by comparison, though admittedly Wonder Woman had a LOT more bondage imagery than any other mainstream comic, in the 1940s ... or since the 1940s, come to think of it. There might have been much more bondage in Wonder Woman -- a single issue in the 1940s contained no less than 78 panels with women in bondage in them -- but the bondage was milder. People were not being killed and tortured while bound. Wonder Woman's relatively mild bondage imagery slid past Wortham and his ilk with all that more hardcore stuff floating around.

In the 1950s, dropping the bondage elements in Wonder Woman probably made a certain amount of sense. Wertham was in full sway, the Comics Code Authority had been instituted, and if DC hadn't toned it down, Wonder Woman would almost certainly have been targeted by the bluenoses. Not that I think there was any heroic interest on the part of DC Comics in continuing the bondage theme after Marston's departure. Like so much in the history of comics, it worked out well for all concerned, except fans of the comic.

But I hope I have made the case that a return to Wonder Woman's bondage roots could work out well, if it were handled with wit and intelligence. Admittedly, wit and intelligence are not commonplace characteristics where bondage themes in mainstream media are concerned, but there is some out there. Specifically, Adam Warren's "Empowered" is doing an excellent job of implementing bondage themes into his stories, while maintaining a high level of humor, strong characterization and good plotting. He'd be the man to do it, if anyone can. But I doubt the suits at DC will ever have the sense or the guts to hire him.

Of course, whether Warren wants to take over the Wonder Woman franchise or not, is another matter. "Empowered" is really taking off. Volume 2 is out, Volume 3 is in the works, and these volumes are trade paperbacks, not little 32-page story bits. The same elements that made Wonder Woman so successful are present in "Empowered" -- appealing superhero, lots of bondage. While "Empowered" is not for the kiddies, in today's more mature comics marketplace, it might become everything Wonder Woman might have been.

And if you like Transformation Island, you'll LOVE Rebla!

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